This weekend, Regina, Sask., hosted its eighth annual ‘Special Olympics Saskatchewan Bonspiel,’ as 10 teams hit the curling rink.
The bonspiel saw six teams from Manitoba and four from Saskatchewan competing.
The tournament decides which athletes will represent the province at the 2024 Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.
Daniel Fiedelleck is one athlete competing for a spot in the games. With a rink in Melfort, Fiedelleck has been curling for 35 years and has represented Saskatchewan on the national stage for the last three consecutive Special Olympics Canada Winter Games.
“I was born and raised curling,” Fiedelleck said, as he talked about starting the game at age seven.
Fiedelleck was on the attack all weekend, and his team came out on top in division one.
“There was a couple of nail bitters but I got my way through and our guys made some shots at the end,” he said.
The latest win will send him to his fourth Special Olympic Canada Winter Games.
In the division two finals, Natasha Vokey and her team from Winnipeg finished in first place, something she was extra proud to do with her dad as the assistant coach.
“She’s been curling for about 20 years, and she started when she was eight years old and it’s just fantastic because everything she does in curling is great for her,” Bob Vokey said as he held back tears talking about his daughter’s curling accomplishments.
However, for many athletes, it is more about the friendships made along the way than competing. As the lifelong bonds continue to bring them back to the bonspiel year after year.